Perfume Chat Room, September 11

Welcome to the weekly Perfume Chat Room, perfumistas! I envision this chat room as a weekly drop-in spot online, where readers may ask questions, suggest fragrances, tell others their SOTD, comment on new releases or old favorites, and respond to each other. The perennial theme is fragrance, but we can interpret that broadly. This is meant to be a kind space, so please try not to give or take offense, and let’s all agree to disagree when opinions differ. In fragrance as in life, your mileage may vary! YMMV.

Today is Friday, September 11, a somber day here in the United States. So while I normally try to find an amusing “featured image” for this Chat Room, showing people interacting with each other, today my featured image is of the memorial wall within the 9/11 Memorial in New York City, with its quote from Virgil. I sometimes think I’ve read or watched all I can bear about 9/11; I don’t want to wallow in it, but I do want to honor and try to understand it. Today, I learned something new and beautiful while searching for an appropriate image.

The blue wall you see in the photo is an artwork by Spencer Finch, commissioned for the memorial. From ArtNet:

“Finch’s work, Trying To Remember the Color of the Sky on That September Morning, is inspired by the memorably clear, intensely blue sky of that fateful morning, reports the New York Times. The work covers most of the central wall in the museum’s subterranean exhibition space.

Though it may appear from a distance to be a stone mosaic, the piece comprises individual sheets of Fabriano Italian paper that the artist has hand-painted in different shades of blue with water colors, hung like the missing person notices that filled the city’s streets in the days and weeks following the tragedy. Each of the 2,983 squares represents one of the victims of the 2001 attacks and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.”

Every adult I know remembers vividly where they were when they first learned of the 9/11 attacks. I had left New York City nine years earlier, after having lived in or near that city almost my whole life. I was fortunate in that I did not lose any friends or loved ones that day, but hundreds of people I know lost people they knew. Commuter towns where I had lived were devastated, with empty cars left in parking lots of train stations because their owners hadn’t returned.

I feel I should apologize for raising such a sad image, but after all, my blog is partly named “Scents AND Sensibilities.” And that’s what on my mind today. I wish you all health, safety, and happiness.

Photo by Jin S. Lee, for The New York Times.

17 thoughts on “Perfume Chat Room, September 11

  1. This is a hard day, every year. My company had an office blocks from the WTC so we spent that day and the next frantically trying to hear if everyone was safe after having them hang up on our conference call just after the first plane hit. That artwork is stunning – we were in NYC just before the museum opened, so I haven’t seen it yet. As for perfume, today I pulled out a box of minis that I always forget I have. Mon Guerlain was the choice for the morning, but it’s not nearly contemplative enough for me today. After workout and shower I will probably go with Chris Rusak Io.

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  2. Yes, it was truly a terrible day that we will never forget. But what’s even sadder is that almost 180,000 people have needlessly died from coronavirus in our country and so many people don’t seem to care. I certainly care. I mourn the loss of all the people who died on 9-11 and everyone who has died from covid-19. All are terrible losses to our country and to individual families and friends.

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  3. A friend from Texas called and woke me up that morning (we’re 3 hours behind, so I was still asleep).
    We went to the memorial several years ago when visiting New York. It was very emotional for me and my husband, and I remember that I was appalled by some younger tourists (and even some families) taking selfies (!) in there. They weren’t Americans, but still it felt really wrong.

    This week was so strange for us… I haven’t seen the sky or sun for the last 3 days. Because of fires, our air goes from “Unhealthy to sensitive groups” to “Unhealthy,” and last night and right now it is “Very Unhealthy” 😦 So, I’m still wearing perfumes but in smaller quantities because I react badly to the air quality.

    Mimosa & Cardamom today – for the NST project.

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  4. Hey OH,
    We went to the Memorial site in 2014. It was very affecting and our BFF Kath was weeping. Such a waste of lives. The world changed that day.
    Today I did a split of CHANEL Paris-Riviera. It is lovely. I smell tomato leaf in it, even though it’s not mentioned in the notes. I think it will be getting some wear around here this summer.
    Portia xx

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    • I have a sample of Paris-Riviera that I got at Nordstrom before everything shut down; I’ll have to pull it out again! I remember liking Paris-Deauville very much. Paris-Rivera has sentimental associations for me because 30 years ago, my husband and I honeymooned in Paris and the Rivera, taking the high-speed train from Paris to Marseilles then driving along the coast toward Nice.

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        • It was so much fun! After Paris, we only stayed in two-star hotels because they tended to be small, family-owned, and truly French. We would make reservations just a couple of days in advance because we didn’t have a fixed itinerary, and we often stayed overnight up in the hills, so more Provence than Riviera. But we did see a lot of the coastal towns, where we couldn’t afford the hotels! We had such a wonderful time. I still have the santons and china that we brought home.

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          • That’s totally inspirational OH. I love driving holidays, and staying in the hotels made for its countries inhabitants rather than the travel elite (although I’m also partial to a 5* in a big city)
            Also love the idea of no fixed itinerary. Jin would not get so much joy out of that though because the lead up and all the organising is what he really loves about a holiday.
            Portia xx

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  5. I remember the day, frantically working in the hospital, just sometimes taking glances at the TV my patients were watching. I thought they were watching a science fiction or something like that. Only when I came home and turned on my TV I became aware what has happened. Very surreal feeling, then I was shocked.
    I wore What I did on my holidays today for a fine late summer day, doing my garden, then riding my new bike for a bit. Later we will meet a friend for dinner.

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    • What a lovely plan for today! How is the new bike working for you? It’s recumbent, isn’t it?
      Yes, on 9/11, I had dropped off two of my young children at their preschool shortly before 8:30 a.m., and I was running errands in my car with my newborn baby. I heard news about the WTC on the radio and I too thought at first they were describing some new disaster movie. When I kept listening, I realized it was news, not fiction; and when I got home, I turned on the news while my baby slept peacefully. It was so surreal and awful. I saw one of the towers fall on live TV. Dreadful.

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